This article is written purely on opinion and observation. There was no research done for this article. It is just my own opinion on this subject.
If you consider this column the equivalent of my super-hero persona, then my alter-ego is my regular life. My mild-mannered regular life isn’t exciting like Bruce Wayne’s playboy life, or Clark Kent’s reporter job, I work as a parts manager at an equipment dealership.
This past winter was very slow in my industry. The lack of snow made it very quiet in our shop. We didn’t have many tractors or equipment come in to be repaired. We went through 3 months of quiet business time. With the warm weather returning, I’ve had my suppliers show up on my door step with this year’s pre-season booking programs and specials.
I’ve had lots of opportunities to talk to my suppliers and customers, who are also repair shops and farmers. It was the same everywhere. It was a quiet winter, and customers weren’t coming in to spend their money. The customers didn’t have to come in because the lack of snow meant they didn’t break their equipment. Also the customers didn’t want to spend any money because of the uncertainty of Canada’s financial future.
A lot of my customers and vendors are scared that the recession we are in now is going to get worse, and Canada may suffer a complete financial collapse.
Since there could be a chance that this may happen, it will affect everybody. Jobs will be lost. Financial institutions will suffer as well. People will not have as much disposable capital to spend on stuff like comic books, action figures and video games.
Since comic books are not a necessity of life (well… to some people), it could be one of the first items that are cut from your budget.
So the question is, are you willing to cut comic books from your weekly expenses?
For me personally, this would be a very tough decision. Looking at it objectively, the answer would be yes if I was dealing with absolutes. For example, if the situation arose where I had to choose between groceries for my family, or the new issue of G.I. Joe, there is no doubt that groceries for my family would come first.
But if I look at things hypothetically (which this whole article is a hypothetical premise) then I wouldn’t cut comics totally out of my life, I would have to choose what I want to buy. It would be a tough descision, because I love comic books, but when times get tough you need to make a cut. The challenge would then become, which comic books would I stick with, and which ones I would drop.
Fortunately at this time I don’t have to make that decision, but you never know what will happen.
If people have to make the tough decision of dropping their favourite comic books, they may resort to “shady” means to get their comic books, like downloading them on the internet. This will be bad for the comic industry all around. The publishers, retailers, writers and artists will all suffer. In turn the books will suffer and smaller books will be cancelled, and the publishers will have to use gimmicks to help sell their comic books.
Not every comic book collector will have to go through this. It’s funny; some businesses suffer at different times than others. Some sectors make money, while some are in decline. For myself, it is in the back of my mind that I need to prepare to cut comic books from my weekly expense, if for some reason I can’t afford them any more. It isn’t something I want to do, but being prepared is the best thing to do. Because “knowing is half the battle”… sorry I couldn’t resist.